12th century belt,  12th century projects,  Basics,  Embroidery,  How to do pearl embroidery,  Materials,  Medieval Embroidery,  Pearl embroidery,  Pearls,  Projects

12th century belt for my 12th century wedding dress – pearl embroidery .3

2015-12 - Racaire - 12th century belt - pearl embroideryDuring the last weeks I was busy preparing for Gulf Wars and actually wanted to work on my “leg armor” for SCA “Heavy Fighting” today. Given the amount of layers and the thickness of the material I decided to do the sewing with the help of my sewing machine. But, well, after several hours facing a never ending fight with my sewing machine, I think I finally have to face the sad truth. My sewing machine really hates me and doesn’t want to cooperate with me at all. *sigh*

But life is too precious to end the day feeling frustrated and defeated. Therefore I finally decided to stop fighting my sewing machine and to embrace something I really enjoy – my new 12th century belt project and pearl embroidery.

I know, I already added a good deal of pearl embroidery to my belt but I am far from being done with it. There is still a lot of empty space that needs to be filled in order to achieve the 12th century look I am going for.

And now let’s take a look at my next step concerning the pearl embroidery for my very first 12th century belt – enjoy! 😀


At the picture above you can see the next stage of the pearl embroidery for my 12th century belt project. I added some pearls to the triangle part at the end of the belt which would otherwise look quite empty as well as a first row of sets of 3 pearls along the upper border.

And following you will see how I created the pearl embroidery along the border:


Normally I would prefer to pre-draw the placement of the embroidery but the surface of the yellow silk made it quite impossible to use tailor chalk or other drawing tools without leaving very visible markings. Therefore I decided to use some simple pins to mark the spacing as well as the angle for the pearl embroidery.

In order to place the pins I decided to fall back on a tool which I normally only use for my calligraphy projects – a “TZ-Dreieck” (a “triangle” for technical drawing(?) ). With the help of this triangle for technical drawing(?) I was able to place the pins quite easily and very fast along the border:


As you can see on the picture above, the line which indicates the 45° angle made it very easy for me to place the pin in the desired 45° angle while maintaining a consistent distance of 1.5cm between the single pins at the same time.


After placing all pins along the border in this section – as you can see on the picture above – I could finally start with the actual pearl embroidery:


After threading my sewing needle with a new thread and securing it to the backside of the belt, I started with a very simple small stitch next to the first pin…


…the purpose of this very first stitch is quite simple – it secures the thread one more time and I can apply more tension to the thread while I am working at the next steps of my pearl embroidery.

Btw. as you can see on the picture above – I am again using a double thread for the pearl embroidery – better safe than sorry! 😉


For the very next step I put the desired amount of pearls on my thread – 3 pearls. Putting some tension on the thread I could easily determine the best point for the next stitch to the backside by placing my sewing needle right behind the last pearl.


Then I added couching stitches over the thread in-between the pearls to make sure that the pearls stay firmly in the desired position and finished the row with some simple securing stitches at the backside before I proceeded to repeat the above described steps for the follwoing rows.

…and voilá – another set of 3 pearls finished:


…and a close up of the pearls for you:


…as well as a close up from the side:


On the picture above you can clearly see all the small couching stitches which hold the pearls in their spot as well as keep them firmly pressed to the surface of the belt.

Well, all the above described steps might not create an everlasting pearl embroidery but they definitely help to prolong the life of your pearl embroidery on a garment piece like a belt which is meant to be worn and might be exposed to pressure or tension. 🙂


…and on the picture above Alice proudly presents two finished sections – yeah, I really couldn’t resist to take this picture – he is just too cute… 😉 


The picture above shows the pearl embroidery progress for my 12th century belt after several days of work. This sets of 3 pearls don’t look like much work but they took me much longer to complete then the pearl embroidery along the border of the bezants. However, it was definitely worth it! 😀

And last but not least here a close up picture of one of the ends of my belt for you:


I hope you enjoyed my new progress pictures though I have to admit that I am still not completely done with my pearl embroidery… *giggle* …but more about it in my next posting… 😀

Best regards Racaire